Despite efforts to derail the high-speed rail project, a Sacramento County
Superior judge denied a preliminary injunction, after having previously
denied a temporary restraining order a month earlier, which would have
blocked the state from spending nearly $1.25 billion to build the controversial
119-mile segment of track in Central Valley. Judge Raymond Cadei stated
that blocking the funding would potentially harm Californians and the state.
Back in 2008, a $10 billion bond sale measure was approved by voters, though
several conditions were attached to it, which need to be met before it
is spent. For example, the bond act requires that any segment of railing
that is to be started must be “suitable and ready” for high-speed
train operators. Further legislation clarified that a portion of the previously
approved legislation authorized $1.1 billion for transit improvements
for the project.
The plaintiffs believe the legislation is being given carte blanche to
change ballot measures after approval. Only voters should be allowed to
make such changes. Although Judge Cadei allowed the project to receive
a portion of the revenue bonds, he rejected the rail authority’s
argument regarding the right to change and clarify the meaning of the bond act.
The high-speed rail project will keep moving forward and, with Prop 1A
bonds and revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade markets, it is
possible the first segment will be built and opened in the near future.
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